Thursday, 28 January 2016

Gear Review: KEEN Alamosa WP Hiking Boots

I'm really impressed with KEEN's waterproof Alamosa hiking boot.  You can watch my short video review here and/or read the text below:

This is a review of the KEEN Alamosa hiking boot that you see right here in front of you.  I've owned this boot for about 6 months now.  I've done a number of mid-length hikes in them: Grand Canyon (down and up) Mount Baldy in the San Antonio range in California, and some shorter ones in cooler weather up in Ontario and the Canadian Shield, which is where I live.

The construction of this boot is all very soft, very pliable leather.  Very lightweight.  I want to emphasize that... it's a lightweight hiking boot.  It's probably not going to give you the support of a full, heavier hiking boot.  But for what you're getting it's amazing.  Amazing support for this lightweight hiking boot.

Together they weigh less than 1 kg.  About 990 g, that's about 2.2 or 2.3 lbs for he pair, together.  So, nice and lightweight.

Being a KEEN, it's got the nice toe-stop here, and a very generous toebox, which is what I like.  This is a size 11, which is a European 44.5.  It fits me perfectly, my first pair of KEEN's actually but probably not my last.  Lots of room in the toebox which is what I like and then you can cinch up the ankle with the lacing.

One lace, lots of little pulls that are adjustable.  So if you see here, this will give if you want.  It's connected down here and around the back and it comes out again on the other side. So you can alce it up and get a really snug feeling all the way around your heel and that's really handy when you're going downhill, or encountering some difficult terrain, or carrying a heavy backpack.

IT's got the quick lace-up here, all plastic, no metal on this boot.  Nice plastic quick lace.  They've got a really nice eye in there so the lace grabs right in there and holds it really well, really tight.

It's a waterproof boot, and I can attest to that.  I've hiked through water that's probably up to about here.  At least ankle-deep water, and my feet have remained largely dry.  Maybe a little bit, you know, where it's crept in around the tongue, a little bit wet there.  But that's just a function of the water going too high.  It's got the KEENDry system.  What you can see is that it's brown up here and inside it gets a little silver lining.  The lining goes all the way around and that's what they call the KeenDry lining.  I'm not sure if it's a GoreTex or something like that but basically from this point all the way around it's covering down, so you stay nice and dry in there.

Good ventilation.  All of this is mesh, so very pliable, very breathable in the hot weather.  It was about maybe 30 C in the Grand Canyon and my feet didn't sweat too much.  And then the hikes I've done around here I've gone down to about 10 C below 0, in the snow and they've been nice and toasty, as long as I'm moving.  Great hiking boot as far as I'm concerned.

On the bottom, not amazing traction but you've got at least 4-5 mm in the tread depth.  I don't know how they come up with these patterns but it feels pretty good.  It's a little slippery on ice or frozen rock as you would expect.  But if you have any kind of dirt or wood on a hiking trail it feels really nice, really good.

Maybe I'll just show you here, you can see on the left foot there's a little fold on the leather, a compression.  No one's two feet are the same, so when you cinch it up you can really, you just gotta pull on the top and the whole thing, even down here ill really nicely cinch up.  You can bring the soft leather in and it really feels like it conforms around your foot.  Your heel really stays back here very nicely.

So, I don't know if they sell them any more actually.  I was looking online, I got these at Atmosphere, which is a Sport Expert knockoff.  But they're also on OutdoorGear, Amazon, etc. but I can't seem to find any recently.  So I'm not sure if they stopped manufacturing them.

But if you want a lightweight hiking boot that gives amazing waterproof and amazing support, this KEEN Alamosa is the one.

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